The Army Black Knights came a play or two from a major upset for the second consecutive season. After going to overtime with the Oklahoma Sooners last season, they hit the repeat button against another worthy opponent in 2019. Army were hoping for better results this time, but it was the same outcome, with the Black Knights failing to complete the upset in overtime.
Oklahoma survived by a score of 28-21 and then Michigan were able to survive as well, 24-21. I know people want to blast Michigan for their poor effort, but this Army team did the exact same thing to Oklahoma last season. Somehow the Black Knights get zero credit for what they’ve accomplished.
Army are a team who won 11 games last season with a record of 11-2. They came close to making it 12-1, which would have come true if they beat Oklahoma. The Black Knights have also beaten Navy three years in a row, so they have a lot of momentum on their side in 2019. They are fully aware that they are capable of giving teams a fight, no matter who they are.
So, for a minute here, let us give credit to Army. People just love to hate on Michigan. Should a team expected to go to the playoff be able to handle Army? Probably, but Oklahoma went to the playoff last season despite facing a hard time against Army. Michigan can hang their hat on that moving forward this season.
Army won’t be looking for an upset on Saturday. They’ll just be looking to avoid an upset against UTSA in San Antonio this weekend. The Black Knights will be favorites by two touchdowns and a field goal here, so they’re going to be on the opposite side of a potential upset bid in this one.
UTSA will be seeing the triple-option for the first time in school history. They’re coming off a blowout loss against Baylor and will see a much different offense Saturday. Different yet it could be just as difficult to slow down. Head below for our free Army vs. UTSA pick.
Army Black Knights vs. UTSA Roadrunners NCAAF Week 3 Betting Odds:
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Army vs. UTSA Pick:
UTSA got by without a test in Week 1 against Incarnate Word. They cruised past them for a final score of 35-7. Simple enough. The competition level got kicked up tenfold against Baylor, though. Baylor made the Roadrunners pay for their mistakes, as they racked up eight total touchdowns. There were four different rushers who gained over 60 yards on the ground. In total, Baylor rushed for 368 yards, including 168 passing yards and 3 touchdown passes by Charlie Brewer.
If they thought that stopping the run against Baylor was tough, they’re going to be in for another tough day against Army in this one. The Black Knights finished 2nd in the nation a season ago with 312.5 rushing yards per game. They were one of only two teams who eclipsed 300 rushing yards per contest in 2018. Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. is back in 2019, which is the most important piece to a triple-option offense.
He’s the pilot of the offense and a lot of decisions come down to him. Hopkins Jr. was responsible for 2 touchdowns on the ground and 41 rushing yards against Michigan. Connor Slomka led all rushers on Army with 92 yards. Everyone is aware of what kind of damage Army can do on the ground. However, a lot of people aren’t aware of how good their defense can be. They held Oklahoma to just 21 points in regulation last season and finished 9th in the FBS with 294 yards allowed per game. They also surrendered just 18 points per game.
It’s been more of the same for the Army defense in 2019. They have returned several key starters, including three starters in the secondary. Their leading tackler, Cole Christiansen, who had 12.5 tackles for a loss in 2018, has returned this season as well. Frank Harris is going to continue to struggle after passing for just 93 yards a week ago.
There might be an argument made in favor of UTSA that Army are due for a letdown spot. However, if there’s any schools who can avoid letdowns it’s the military schools. They are too focused and locked in. When Army nearly beat Oklahoma last season, there was no hangover the following week. They throttled Buffalo for a 43-13 decision a week later. Expect a similar outcome in this one. At least a 20-point win for Army looks likely here.